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Car fire causes traffic chaos on A31 near Ringwood

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A CAR’S occupants had a lucky escape after it burst into flames on the A31, causing major traffic disruption near Ringwood.

Firefighters from Hampshire and Dorset responded along with police to a call-out just after 2pm yesterday (Wednesday) as the vehicle was engulfed in the inferno between Picket Post and Stoney Cross.

The entire westbound carriageway was initially closed as the Ringwood and Ferndown fire crews battled the blaze, which had spread to nearby undergrowth.

(Photo: Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service)
(Photo: Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service)

A Twitter post by police said: “The A31 is currently closed westbound just prior to the Picket Post Services due to a car fire.

“Thankfully all occupants managed to escape uninjured and made their way to safety.

“Please allow extra time for travel, traffic is very heavy.”

At the height of the emergency, drivers reportedly faced an 80-minute delay from Stoney Cross.

(Photo: Hampshire & Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service)
(Photo: Hampshire & Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service)

One lane was reopened around 3pm once the firefighters had extinguished the flames.

However, the other lane remained closed for another four hours due to damage caused to the road surface.

Delays continued, with a six-mile queue back to the M27 reported around 4pm. Residual hold-ups were still said to be affecting traffic once the road had been cleared, adding about 25 minutes to average journey times.

Motorists avoiding the A31 during this time also contributed to congestion into Lyndhurst and Emery Down.

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